There are some basic rules to follow when installing cedar shingles regardless if they are installed                                                          on a roof or a wall.

Nails are preferableFirst starter shingle over staples. Electro-galvanized, stainless or copper nails should be used to prevent "bleeding". Ardox or ringed nails hold better than common shank nails.

The nails should be driven 1 1/2" to 2" above the exposure line. There should not be more than two nails driven into each shingle, regarless of the width of the shingle.

There are two courses of shingles nailed on the bottom edge of a given plane. The starter course serves to fill the gaps in the first exposed course of shingles. The starter course should overhang the bottom of the wall or the facer of a roof by a minimum of 3/4" inch. The first exposed course of shingles should be flush with or, slightly over hanging, the starter course.

Each shingle must be gapped from the shingle beside it by roughly 3/16". This gap allows for expansion of the shingle and prevents the shingles from buckling as and if they gain moisture.

I find that if the shingles are laid from the edges of the plane to the middle, it is easier to find the shingle needed to fit make a neater job than cutting the shingles for the edges of a plane.




The second course (first exposed course) is nailed directly over the starter course. Ensure that the second course overhangs the starter First exposed coursecourse slightly. Also ensure that the gaps of the starter course are whole covered by the shingles of the second course.

Use blue chalk to mark your reference lines. Red will not come off. In lieu of                                                                                  marking lines, you maight choose to use a piece of strap linestacked to the shingles at the exposure line for reference.

There are two lines marked on these shingles. The one on the left is the exposure line for this roof plane. The one on the right marks where the nailer strap is. On courses above the first exposed course, on a 5" exposure, using a 16" shingle, you can see where the strap is between the tips of the shingle. You may eventually find this nailer line is not necessary.


The joints in the shingles must be offset by a minimum of 1 1/2" on sucessive courses.Shingle offset

The photo on the right shows this offset at point A-A.

Finishing off the plane at the top of a wall or roof is a matter of                                                                                                      trimming back the shingle scribeshingles to fit. In the case of the photo on the right, the end of this end of this plane is a dormer wall at the top of the roof plane. The exposure line was marked as in the previous courses. The shingle being measured was placed butt up against the wall and the cut line is marked using the exposure line as a reference.